- Embody a commitment to the mission, purpose, and core values of York College.
- Are recognized by students, faculty, and staff as servant leaders who make positive contributions in all they do.
- Are well-rounded individuals who pursue spiritual integrity and academic excellence while making contributions to the campus and community, forming healthy personal relationships, and living godly lives.
Nominees: Ms. YC
Mikayla Brant is a biology major from Clear Lake, Iowa. She is a member of the Concert Choir where she has served two years as vice president, competitive cheer team serving as co-captain for two years, involved in STEM Society, Greek Life, Student Government Association (SGA), York Campus Ministry (YCM), Residence Life, and Genesis Orientation coordinator. She is on the Dean’s List, the KCAC 2021 Champion of Character for cheer, and was voted to the homecoming court two years. Mikayla has plans to attend an accelerated nursing program at Creighton University in Grand Island, Neb., upon graduation.
Reflecting on her time at York, Mikayla said, "York College will always have a special place in my heart. I grew in so many ways here. I became more confident, more joyful, more hopeful, and more at peace with where God is directing my life. I have been learning to let God have control over the things I cannot, and to allow Him to show me peace through that. I have become more open to new ideas and learning about what people have been through and where they come from. I have learned how to lean on others through adversities and how to put others' needs before my own. God has shown me how to love others even when it's hard and even when I don't understand someone or something. I know how to show God's love better in the simple ways of life and I have been blessed to have friends who encourage and support me and my goals. I have grown to be more passionate in what I stand for and to be more confident in the way I present myself. Most of all, God has shown me a home away from home that is filled with amazing friends, supportive faculty and staff, and many sweet memories that will stick with me forever."
Sadie Carr is an elementary education major from Henderson, Neb. She is a member of Concert Choir, PR Squad, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Dean’s List, track and cross country teams, and Delta social club where she has served as president. She has also been a member of Celebration Singers, the volleyball team, cheer, and participated in One Act. She was voted to this year’s homecoming court by the student body and is a three-time NCCAA All-American in pole vault, 4x1 relays, and the 4x4 relays, and KCAC All-Conference in pole vault. Sadie plans to teach fifth grade at West Lawn Elementary in Grand Island, Neb.
Sadie had this to say when questioned about her York experience: "York College has transformed my life by providing me with many opportunities to meet and engage with people who are different than me. I have a new view of the world and a mindset that I can learn from others and use my experiences to help teach my future students. I am better because I can go into my next step in life as a teacher and help guide young minds toward love and acceptance of all people."
Kitra Cody is a business administration, accounting, and management major from Cody, Neb. She is a member of the Concert Choir, cheer & dance team, Professional Business Leaders (PBL), Dean’s List, Alpha Chi Honor Society, and an officer in Theta Psi social club. She was a 2019 PBL National Champion in Emerging Business Issues, and a 2021 PBL National Champion in Human Resource Management, and a runner-up at nationals in Accounting Analysis and Decision Making. Kitra plans to take over as manager of DC Tanning in York and continue working on her masters.
When Kitra was asked in what ways she has been transformed, she said, "I would say that I am a completely different person than I was when I came to York College almost four years ago. Not only have I started to develop into the person that I want to be, but my relationship with Christ has grown immensely. As I get ready to graduate, all I can say is how thankful I am for this place and the mentors and friends I’ve gained throughout my journey here."
Rosa Maria Vallejo Jauregui
Rosa Maria Vallejo Jauregui is a biology major from El Paso, Texas. She is a member of the women's wrestling team, serving as captain this past season, Residence Life serving as Thomas resident assistant her sophomore year, Thomas assistant director her junior year, and Kiplinger assistant director this year. She is also the president of STEM Society, a member of YC Inclusion and on the Dean’s List. She was voted to this year’s homecoming court and is a KCAC Scholar-Athlete for wrestling and was the team’s recipient of the Champion of Character award. Upon graduation, Rosa plans to travel and prepare to apply for medical school.
Rosa was asked how has she changed in her time at York College and said, "Since coming to YC, I have been given opportunities to not only grow spiritually, but also see how my positive attributes can have a heartwarming effect on those around me. I’m more comfortable with improv public speaking and talking to people that I’ve never talked to before. Through devo and chapel talks I’ve given, I’ve become less quiet and more talkative about issues I don’t agree with. Being here has helped me see that there are opportunities anywhere you go, but it is your attitude and drive that help you see them. By being here I have also met some amazing people that I know will be in my life even after graduation." Rosa added, "I am truly grateful for all the opportunities I got to serve YC, and I know that they all changed me for the better. They all helped me to see that in a gloomy world there are sunny days."
Nominees: Mr. YC
Sebastian Rolon Barreto
Sebastian Rolon Barreto is a biology major from Mt. Dora, Fla. He is a member of Residence Life, YCM, an officer in Kyodai social club, and a four-year member of the baseball team. He served his freshman and sophomore years as his class representative in Student Government Association. He was voted by the student body to the homecoming court his sophomore, junior, and senior years. After graduation, Sebastian plans to attend nursing school at the University of Central Florida.
Sebastian had this to say when questioned about his York experience: "I would say from the beginning, I was still exploring areas in my faith that I wanted to establish in my life. Now, I finally know what I want in my life in order to fulfill my life to Jesus. I understand now how to be led by the spirit in worship, or when I am praying for others. Next, I understand now that it’s important to take care of myself before I can be a servant to others. I’m the same person as far as personality, I haven’t changed. I’d say I’m less extroverted than I used to be, but in a good way. I’ve really learned to appreciate the little things and enjoy the process as opposed to the destination. Nothing wrong with being excited for the destination, but the journey it takes through the ups and downs is something I’ve learned to cherish. I’m really gonna miss my family here, I wouldn’t be here without them and certainly not without God."
Justus Coppinger is a vocal performance and Biblical studies major from York, Neb. He is a member of the Concert Choir, serving as the bass and tenor section leader, Celebration Singers, cross country and track teams, a member of Sigma Tau social club serving as president two years and one year as the spiritual chair, Dean's List, two-time Songfest host and one year as emcee, took the stage multiple times in the YC One Acts, and was the SGA junior class representative. He is a KCAC Scholar Athlete and the indoor track team's Champion of Character recipient. Justus plans to marry Kelsey Beck this summer, continue his worship ministry internship, and give private music lessons.
Reflecting on his college experience, Justus had this to say, "I've very much been able to grow into who God is preparing me to be. Through my time here, I have been able to have opportunities and experiences that have pushed me, challenged me, and allowed me expand my ideologies and perspectives. As I leave, while it is intimidating to transition into this next chapter after graduation, I am confident in the support system that I have been so blessed with while here at YC."
Hosea Kiptoo is a biology major from Eldoret, Kenya. He is on both the cross country and track teams where he is a KCAC Scholar Athlete and the cross country team's recipient of the Champion of Character award. He was KCAC All-Conference Honorable Mention this season and qualified for the NAIA Cross Country Championships. Hosea plans to enroll in a graduate program.
Hosea was asked how he has changed in his time at York College and said, "My relationship with God has grown deeper; I now understand life in Christ is meaningful and relying fully on him is worth living. I have learned what it really means to love people through my interactions with great individuals here at YC, who reflect the love of Christ in every aspect. My life has changed in many ways but finding Christ and learning to walk the faith journey is the best of it all."
Chris Martens is a theatre and business communication major from Alden, Minn. He is a member of Concert Choir, serving as president, YC Theatre, Traveling Children’s Theatre, Celebration Singers, YCM, PBL, SGA communication officer, Dean’s List, and president of Kingsmen social club. He has been involved in countless theatre productions including directing, a member of Alpha Psi Omega theatre honor society, and is a 2022 Songfest host. He was chosen Best Actor in 2021, won the Drama Department Award in 2021, Best Supporting Actor in 2020, Most Improved Actor in 2019, and placed 6th at PBL Nationals in Business Ethics. After graduation, Chris plans to work in the admissions department as a performing arts recruiter as well as managing the Bartholomew Performing Arts Center.
When Chris was asked in what ways he has been transformed in his time at York College, he said, "I came here as a freshman with a rather narrow worldview. Being at YC has opened my eyes to so many other walks of life and shown me how to love everyone for who they are."
Congratulations to all this year's nominees!